Cycling is one of the most enjoyable activities that is both pleasurable and good for your health. If you’ve bought your bike and plan to use it on a daily basis, you might be wondering “how many miles should I bike a day?”
In today’s guide, we’ll answer this question by walking you through everything you need to know in order to set a suitable mileage goal for you. So without further ado, let’s hop right in!
How Many Miles Can You Go on a Bike a Day?
The short answer to this question is that it depends. Since bike riders can have different purposes, physical states, ages, etc, setting a specific number of miles per day for all of them is not right.
Despite that, we can still put a realistic estimate of what an average person should travel on a bike on a daily basis.
For instance, for a healthy, young adult, the average distance to cover every day should be around 10 to 15 miles, provided that they’re traveling at a relatively moderate pace.
For younger individuals, such as children and teenagers, the distance covered on a bike can be up to double due to their extra activity, which is anywhere between 20 to 30 miles a day.
These numbers are based on the general rule of exercising a day, where adults are recommended to be active for about 30 minutes every day and children for about 60 minutes.
Since the average bike speed is anywhere between 15 to 25 mph, we can estimate the distance covered daily with some simple maths.
Once again, these numbers are based on canceling or other variables that can affect your mileage as well as any additional activities you do throughout the day.
Factors That Affect The Number of Miles to Bike a Day
In this section, we’ll have a closer look at the different factors that make have an impact on the number of miles you travel every day:
1. The Purpose of Cycling
Setting a goal is one of the most essential parts of improving your performance. For example, if you’re riding a bike to stay in shape, maintaining a daily distance of about 10 to 15 miles every day at moderate speed should be excellent for an adult person.
However, if you’re riding a bike every day to improve your endurance and stamina, you will always need to add minutes and even seconds to your daily record.
In that case, you might want to aim for 20 to 30 minutes a day at a relatively higher speed, and so on.
2. Your Bike (Type & Condition)
Some bikes are built so that they cover more distance with less effort. Depending on the type of bike you’re riding, the distance you’re capable of covering may vary, even with the same effort.
In addition to the type of bike, the condition of the bike itself also affects the overall distance in the long run.
A bike with a well lubricated chain system and decent derailleurs will require less effort to move around, and therefore, cover more distance before you tap out!
3. Fitness Level and Adaptation to Biking
The condition of the rider also has a lot of influence on the distance covered on the bike. For instance, if you’re a beginner who is new to riding a bike, starting with a small goal of about 5 miles a day should be a more realistic and convenient goal that you can maintain.
Similarly, your overall level of fitness and endurance can have an impact on the number of miles you should ride every day.
After all, a person who has been riding a bike for several years and is in perfect shape is capable of crossing the 30 mile mark with their bike every day with relative ease.
4. Age and Health
As previously mentioned, children are generally more energetic than adults, so they’re capable of riding a bike for a long distance every day.
On the other hand, seniors and older adults should always consult their physician before committing to any daily mileage on their bikes.
In fact, if you suffer from any chronic health condition, you should only use the bike for as long as your doctor recommends you.
The terrain at which you’re riding also has a huge impact on the final distance covered. If you’re riding in an area that is generally rough with gravel and dirt, it should take more effort to cover the same distance as a smoother level street.
Additionally, the sloping of the terrain also affects the final distance. For example, you can travel up to double the distance while going downhill compared to doing the same effort to go uphill.
What Is Considered a Good Daily Bike Mileage?
Ideally, you should always set a small goal for your daily cycling and work your way up from there.
For example, a physically fit young adult can start with about 5 miles per day. On the other hand, an experienced rider should set a higher record of about 20 miles a day as long as they can stay relatively comfortable while crossing them.
How to Keep Track of the Mileage on Your Bike?
If you want to maintain your daily distance and even improve on it, it’s essential that you maintain a proper track of the distance you cover with your bike every day.
Luckily, there are plenty of methods that you can follow in order to get the job done. These methods vary in terms of benefits and drawbacks, so let’s have a brief look at each one of them and see what they have to offer:
1. GPS Smartwatches and Smartphones
The most popular method to keep track of the distance you cover nowadays is by using GPS technology.
This one stands for “Global Positioning System”, and as the name suggests, it tracks your device using satellites, so you can have a highly accurate idea about the distance you’ve covered.
Today, most smartphones come with GPS technology. You can also download apps that use this technology by starting and ending your trip.
The advantage of this method is that it gives you extra information about your cycling trip, including your maximum and average speed, time taken.
Despite being an extra cost, especially for GPS watches like Garmin, Amazfit, etc, you can use this technique to keep trying your cycling anywhere!
2. Bicycle Odometer
Bicycle odometers are among the most popular attachments that you can install on your bike. This electronic device has a built in speedometer and a sensor to detect both your speed and the distance traveled by your bike.
What’s great about these devices is that they’re much more affordable than smartwatches while being highly accurate. However, you’ll have to set them up manually every time you use the bike.
3. Tracking Websites and Apps
If you don’t have GPS on your device or you don’t want to drain its battery, you can use tracking websites and apps to set a specific route using maps like Google Maps.
The best way to do it is to plot the route from your home and back to fit the distance you want to travel.
4. Cycling in Pre-Measured Routes and Tracks
If you’re not into technology, you can do things the old fashioned way and head to parks and cycling routes that have a predefined distance.
There, you can cross the route in terms of laps, although this can be highly inconvenient for scaling up and accuracy.
Valuable Tips While Riding a Bike Every day
Lastly, here are some of the tips that you should keep in mind while riding a bike on a daily basis:
- It’s always better to set a small record that you can maintain than a high one that discourages you from keeping up.
- Try to ride in different routes every day to experience various terrains and sloping levels
- Once you’re capable of crossing the distance easily, add 1/2 to 1 mile to the total distance or use an uphill terrain to improve your endurance and strength
- Ride the bike at different speed levels to raise your heart rate and metabolism, especially if you’re trying to lose weight
- Get a bike trainer stand and use it indoors when the weather outside is bad for cycling to stay consistent in your training.
This wraps it up for today’s guide that walks you through everything you need to know regarding the distance you should cover a day on your bike.
As you can see, the daily mileage is dependent on a variety of factors, so it’s quite difficult to set a specific distance.
However, if we keep all factors in mind. An average healthy individual who’s cycling to stay in shape can ride about 10 to 15 miles a day.
What’s more important than the distance you cover is to stay consistent. In other words, it’s much better to start small and work your way up than go on a very long trip then rest for the following days.